EC launches probe into Germany’s vectoring plan 

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation over a decision by the German telecoms regulator to permit Deutsche Telekom to upgrade its network with vectoring technology.
The commission said the purpose of the probe is to ensure that the use of vectoring would have not have a detrimental impact on competitors that wish to gain access to the German incumbent’s access network.

Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) said in April that it would allow Deutsche Telekom to upgrade its copper-based VDSL network using vectoring, paving the way for fixed broadband at speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
While the EC noted that BNetzA's proposal would boost broadband speed gains across Germany, bringing connection speeds above 50 Mbps to 1.4 million households for the first time, it said the proposal in its current form “appears likely to have a considerably restricting effect on alternative operators.”

Günther Oettinger, commissioner for the digital economy and society, said: “Our aim is to allow both a network upgrade and high quality access for competitors. For this, we need sufficient safeguards to protect sustainable competition and create incentives to invest in future-oriented networks for the gigabit society.”
The decision to allow vectoring has already incurred the wrath of Vodafone, which previously warned that it puts the country on the wrong side of progress.

"In Vodafone's view, the German regulator is wrong to support short-term incremental upgrades to Germany's outdated copper telephone networks rather than support investment in the future-proof fibre networks that Germany needs," the company said in April.

Deutsche Telekom is required to offer a virtual unbundled local access (VULA) product to rival operators in areas where alternative wholesale networks are not available.
The commission will work with European regulatory body BEREC and is due to reach a decision within four months on whether to lift its reservations or issue a recommendation urging BNetzA to amend or withdraw its draft measure.

Source: Total Telecom